COMEDIANS and late-night talk show hosts received an early bonus this year as former Alaskan governor, and one time vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin announced her backing of Apprentice star Donald Trump’s run for the republican nomination.
On stage in Iowa ahead of the much hyped first caucus there, Trump revelled in applause and provided his usual stump speech showcasing his poll numbers before introducing the controversial politician cum reality TV star.
Famous for embarrassing the McCain campaign for president in 2008 with a variety of comments, including extolling her foreign policy expertise on the basis that she could see Russia from Alaska, and accusing Obama of setting up death panels to kill the elderly, Palin herself toyed with a presidential run in 2012.
“Media heads are spinning” she announced as Trump deftly handed her the microphone, “this is gonna be. So. Much. Fun.” in words surely echoed by popcorn munching political junkies enjoying the circus act thus far. In a rambling 20 minute monologue she managed to squeeze in a few of her favourite catchphrases shrilling “We’re not gonna chill – in fact, we’re gonna drill baby drill” referring to her taste for oil exploration in her home state.
Trump has previous with Palin, having once told an interviewer, “She’s really a special person and I think people know that.”
The key question for liberals and international observers will be whether to take the new double act seriously as a threat or to welcome Palin’s intrusion as the final death knell for Trump’s national ambitious beyond a parochial republican contest.
Certainly Palin has had an impact on inner republican races in the past, demonstrating an uncanny ability to whip up Tea Party conservatives into a voting frenzy in certain congressional races. Nationally, that movement has been discredited as a farce funded by the notorious Koch brothers, while Palin is roundly dismissed as a joke, but in places like the Iowa caucus convention that couldn’t be less relevant.
Whatever happens there will certainly be enough one liners and priceless highlight reels to keep us all entertained until the next bloody war.